Body found near I-91 in White River Junction
UPDATED: Vermont State Police are assisting the Hartford Police Department's investigation
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A hiker walking along a wooded hillside just a stone's throw from the edge of Interstate 91 discovered a dead body shortly before dusk on Sunday evening.
The area was taped off and left under guard overnight so that the Vermont State Police Crime Search Team could examine the remains during the daylight and that operation began shortly before the noon hour on Monday.
The safest access to the steep slope was from the southbound lane of Interstate 91
Vermont State Police Spokesman Scott Waterman said that very little information was immediately available but early indications are that the death "appears not to be suspicious."
The state's mobile Crime Scene Command Post truck and several other police vehicles were parked in the southbound lane of I-91 in the half-mile-long stretch between the "Long Bridges" over the White River and Exit 11 which leads down to the VA Hospital.
The wooded slope, which sits roughly opposite the busy area on Route 5 where Evan's Expressmart/Subway, the Cloverleaf Jewelers, and The Junction Marketplace are located, faces to the east and rises steeply a couple of hundred feet to a hilltop above the interstate.
The area where the forensic specialists appeared to be examining the remains was past the grassy border right by the pavement and another 15 to 20 yards up the slope in the woods where a least one large tree appeared to have toppled over.
UPDATED MONDAY AFTERNOON: The Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations announced late Monday afternoon that their office is currently running this investigation. "Investigation confirmed the presence of human remains. The remains appear to have been there for at least several months. The subject has not yet been positively identified. Cause and manner of death have not been positively determined, but the death does not appear suspicious in nature," Detective John-Paul Schmidt wrote in a press release, continuing, "The remains have been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington for further analysis. Investigators are currently finishing up processing the scene. The interstate is expected to be fully opened shortly. This investigation is on-going."
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Vermont State Police at the Royalton Barracks at 802 234-9933.
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